#96 – THE BLUE JAY

#96 - THE BLUE JAY (1)

The blue jay has such a bad rep.

  Anytime I talk to bird enthusiasts they say the same thing.  Blue jays are a pain in the neck.  They are so aggressive, they scare all the other birds away and they eat other bird species eggs right out of their nests.

Ahh, the blue jay in my yard isn’t that bad. In fact, they are primarily vegetarians.  Granted, I don’t see many birds sharing the bird feeder with ’em!

Call the Blue Jay what you’d like, it is still very exciting to see one.  I mean look at its feathers, they are gorgeous.  They look like a blue mosaic.

I looked up another interesting tidbit of information.

Blue Jays perform a strange ritual called “anting”.

The birds find an ant colony and lay themselves on top of it.  Sometimes they pick up the ants with their beak and spread them in their wings.

Why on earth would they do that?

From what I have gathered, they do this to enable the ants to remove parasites from their plumage, or to force the ants to secrete formic acid which could act as a bacteria and parasite repellant or they force the ants to unload the formic acid which is distasteful so they can eat the ants.

Either way, strange phenomenon.  I will be looking for this activity.  Once and a while I catch my little boy spread eagle on the driveway…I wonder…is he anting or just sunning himself?

So the blue jay may not be the world’s favorite, but again I always like the underdog…or in this case the under-bird!

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